Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
For the same reason that preventing the Calabrian mafia from setting up shop in your jurisdiction would not be protectionism. That also deprives a foreign company from doing business on your turf. The foreign company in question happens, however, to be a kind of company that you don't want on your turf, and have quite legitimate reasons to not want on your turf.

It only becomes protectionism when you are shielding a genuinely inefficient industry - i.e. an industry that has no hope of ever being competitive on the merits - from foreign competition. Using barriers to trade to enforce certain standards is not protectionism - domestic industry is not given an advantage, it's merely protected from being put at an unfair disadvantage.

Finally, the financial system is not an industry in the conventional sense of the term - it is so tightly bound to the political process that it makes more sense to treat is as a utility than an industry. So the logic that applies to the financial sector is not the logic that applies to steel or ball bearings or wine - the closest analogy is the logic that applies to railroads and water supply.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Jan 13th, 2009 at 05:02:40 AM EST
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